Reading too much can be dangerous to your health

Reading too much can be dangerous to your health

There, a hyperbole. A catchy title to, well, catch your attention. But the thing is, I believe I’ve read more books this year than any other year before, and most of those books were first reads. New books. And they came recommended by the Goodreads community, which is always a good thing.

Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, courtesy of

And therein lies the danger. Recently, I’ve come to a conclusion that serial readings, which is like serial killings, sans the murder part, at least in the physical phase space, maybe, are not that effective in evoking imagination, introspect and happiness with readers. This is a personal observation, but I think it has some value.

Let me elaborate. As it turns out, I’ve read several mediocre books lately, and instead of feeling inspired to broaden my horizons and challenge myself with fresh new authors and their works, I’m actually feeling tired. I am in a mood not to read for a while, just to let my brain rest a little. Then, to complicate things, the dozen excellent novels I’ve conquered recently, page after solid page, have also left me feeling exhausted. Jaded.

My criticism levels have spiked, and there’s no novelty in reading about yet another grimdark character, another monster, another arch villains, or anything of that sort. The magic and uniqueness get lost in the sea of perfectly executed verbosity and prose.

There’s your danger. Reading becomes mechanical, instead of being what it’s supposed to be. Fine art, to be sampled carefully, sparingly. Maybe one should balance genres and authors to avoid getting drowned in the sameness of plot and action. Maybe one should exercise less patience and just toss away boring material right there. That in itself poses a risk, because some books start slow and develop beautifully, and not having the desire to master the first few chapters actually means you’re missing on some pretty solid prose later on. Like I said, you become jaded. Tough. Fidgety. Not a good thing.

I would like to hear your thoughts. Maybe I’m Captain Obviousing here, or maybe I am not meant for literary marathons. Maybe I’m dramatizing too much, just because I’ve had a few lousy reads. Maybe book reading must never be tainted with strict timelines, obsession and, above all, quantity. Or perhaps the muddy, gray truth is somewhere in between. You tell me. Cheers.